QB Marcus Mariota suffers right elbow injury, Titans thrashed by surging Colts
Marcus Mariota, who has played his best football of the season during Tennessee’s current two-game win streak, suffered a right elbow injury in the Titans’ noncompetitive 38-10 defeat at the hands of the Indianapolis Colts.
Mariota was injured on a sack by Colts DL Denico Autry, though it was rookie DE Tyquan Lewis who drove the quarterback into the ground in heavy traffic in the backfield, and was deemed questionable to return. Gabbert came on for a third-and-long and threw well short of the sticks to Jonnu Smith but drew a roughing the passer penalty to set up a 42-yard Ryan Succop field goal and trim the deficit to 24-3 at intermission.
Prior to the injury to Mariota, who missed a start earlier in the year because of a right elbow injury and has yet to play all 16 regular-season games in his first three seasons, Titans defensive coordinator Dean Pees experienced what the team called a medical issue and was transported from the stadium to a local hospital for further observation.
The Colts, who have now won the past 11 meetings in this series with Andrew Luck at the helm, dominated Tennessee, out-gaining their rivals 397-263 and collecting five sacks, including four of Mariota in the first 29-plus minutes.
Meantime, Luck wasn’t sacked for a fifth consecutive game, all Colts victories, one of many mind-bending stats for the frontrunner for Comeback Player of the Year honors. Luck also tossed at least three touchdowns in a sixth straight game and logged a passer rating north of 100.0 for the fourth consecutive outing.
On the defensive side of the ball, second-round LB and NFL tackles leader Darius Leonard strengthened his Rookie of the Year resume, with seven tackles, a sack, an interception, forced fumble and fumble recovery. Leonard has 104 tackles, five sacks and four forced fumbles.
And the Colts, who began the season 1-5, are suddenly back to .500 and right in the middle of what might soon be a two-horse race in the AFC South alongside the Houston Texans, who won their seventh consecutive game Sunday.